icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Combray House is a growing, independent book publisher based in western Massachusetts. We specialize in literary non-fiction, memoir, and music, and are on the lookout for first novels. For inquiries prior to submisson, please write publisher@combrayhousebooks.com.



 Can past circumstances about social justice and racism continue to be relevant in this era? That is the core question addressed, and answered, in Fly in the Buttermilk, a poignant memoir by Rev. Dr. Robert L. Polk about his time, 1955-1960, as the 48th official Black resident (as he was told) in the state of North Dakota. Fly reveals the amazing story of a freshly minted, young, Black, urban, seminary graduate who dared to accept his first call as a pastor in the nearly all-white state of North Dakota. Polk has always had a deep and innate passion for race relations and social justice, all of which he endeavored to blend, both in his ministry to a tiny and decidedly rural parish and, later, as youth director in the Minot YMCA for over three hundred teens. The author revisits these days through wonderful and revealing stories, detailing how he was always seeking a deeper personal understanding as to why he was there, and constantly questioning whether his presence there was impactful. Essentially, Polk's memoir is exploring whether his Black presence had life-changing currency in the realm of social justice or was it just an anomaly? This candid memoir explores the highs, lows, joys and sorrows, daily routine, and lack of encountering his own people. Racism, although mostly muted, was, nevertheless, a significant ongoing presence and what he experienced then lives on in today's much less muted and increasingly divisive attitudes and encounters. His insights shed a light on the past with relevance to today as he wonders whether his presence made a difference, then and onward into the rest of their lives, of the White youth and adults he met. Fly In the Buttermilk answers that question with a resounding yes. The validity of his quest is confirmed by the many, who experienced the journey with him, who have remained in touch with him through all the years since.   


Alexandra came from proud stock carrying her ancestor's history
in her bones. Growing up in a family that held its heritage tight
and allegiance to family tighter was all good, until it wasn't.
Betrayal and murder haunted her young life, as her world capsized
when her husband was killed by a family friend. Struggling, she
endured the hardship of her loss while she focused on raising their
son. Yet, just when she thought she'd moved on from her grief, her
universe upended again. Triggered by love and greed, her story
of bonds, betrayals, frailties, and strengths takes readers through
generations of a people who in the end were only human.


Grace Church's twenty Gibson windows and the round west window by Clayton and Bell are of such significant historical importance and rarity that they may be more valuable than parishioners have realized.  Apparently, Grace Church's leaders in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were not enticed by some desire to be "in fashion" to replace these windows with those of prominent artists like La Farge and Tiffany.  Whether as a result of a conscious decision to preserve, satisfaction with the status quo, or a bit of neglect, Grace is left with a display of stained glass that is unequalled in America.